Criminal Justice

Inmate who walked out of jail before court hearing is captured; security now under review

An Ohio inmate who walked out of prison last week after assuming another inmate’s identity and even putting on his clothes is back behind bars, authorities say, and he and those who are accused of helping him in the escape are facing charges.

Christopher Bowden was already serving a 10-year term for burglary and was at the Hamilton County jail awaiting a court appearance in another matter. Taken into custody Tuesday at a sister’s home, he is now charged in a new felony escape case, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

A sister and a brother of Bowden’s, as well as the inmate’s girlfriend and his sister’s boyfriend are also charged in connection with the escape.

A lawyer for the inmate’s girlfriend said the plan was to turn Bowden in, but law enforcement officers arrived before that plan could be executed, the newspaper reports.

A lawyer for the brother said he was charged just for showing up at the home to find out why law enforcement was there.

An earlier WKRC article says the inmate whose identity was assumed by Bowden also is now facing a new case related to the escape.

The county sheriff’s department is now reviewing security procedures at the jail.

“At least five individuals, including supervisors, touched that paperwork, scrutinized the documents, scrutinized the individual that’s being released,” a spokeswoman for the Hamilton County sheriff’s office told the station last week. “We have procedures in place that help us identify each and every inmate. We release hundreds of people from the jail; this is a very unique occurrence.”

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